This will likely be a different kind of Christmas. Depending on where you live and COVID numbers, you may be gathering with family to celebrate or you may not. It could also be that different family members feel differently about the possible threat of COVID, but in all likelihood, some of us will experience disappointment. How do we cultivate contentment when we are disappointed?
King David experienced disappointment when he wanted to build a temple for the Lord. David inquired of the prophet Nathan and Nathan told him to go ahead. Sometime later, however, the Lord spoke to Nathan and told him that David was not to build the temple. Instead, his son Solomon would have that privilege (2 Samuel 7). David was disappointed and yet, his response was profound! Scripture tells us that “David sat before the Lord” (2 Samuel 7:18). He did not argue. He did not pace. He did not shake his fist and get in a stew. He sat before the Lord and then he went on to worship the Lord (2 Samuel 7:18-29). I don’t know about you, but when my plans are turned upside down and I feel disappointed, I don’t always sit before the Lord and worship Him. Yet, David models for us a profound example of contentment.
is the worship of finding rest
in God’s will…
even when you’re disappointed.
I don’t know what expectations you have for this Christmas, but it’s likely that you’ll experience disappointment. Many events have been canceled and large family gatherings are being discouraged.
How do we find contentment even in the face of disappointment?
Surrender – It’s easy to forget at times that our walk with God is to be one continual journey of surrender. Think about it. We are not in control. God is, and we must bow to His will.
I doubt when Mary imagined the birth of her first child that she imagined she would be in a dirty barn with smelly animals. Yet, God planned that His Son be born in poverty in a borrowed barn. When you surrender to God – understanding that His ways are not your ways – you’re one step closer to contentment.
Gratitude – Even though King David felt disappointed when God said no to his request, He gave thanks to God for all He had done in His life. Those who are filled with gratitude tend to be more content. Find a few quiet moments this Christmas to reflect and give thanks. Discipline yourself to find things to be grateful for every day. How has God met you in Christmas’s past? How has He provided for you since last Christmas? Look back through the photos in your phone of the past few months and remember. Remember God’s goodness and grace. Give Him thanks.
Wonder – The other morning I went out on my back deck at about 5 a.m. The dark sky was filled with brilliant stars. As I stood there in the cold with my coffee, I was reflecting. The God who created all those thousands of brilliant stars became a baby. The creator of the universe became an embryo, nestled in the womb of a teenage girl. It’s mind-blowing! If you want more contentment, become a wonder seeker this Christmas. Let God amaze you! Let His majesty overwhelm you. The more you fall in love with the wonder of Him, the less you will focus on what’s missing in your life. Friend, He is enough. All that He is, is all that you need. Ask God to refuel your wonder tank.
Lord Jesus, we worship You! As we face the disappointment of a very different Christmas, we pray that we would turn our focus towards You. Teach us what it looks like to bow and surrender. Fill our hearts with gratitude and remind us to seek the wonder of You this Christmas. We pray that you would take this very wonky Christmas and transform it into something wonderful that we will remember for years. Transform our hearts, Lord.